Netflix has officially announced that they’re working on a movie adaptation of the video game franchise Bioshock with Vertigo Entertainment and 2K, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Here’s an everything you need to know guide about what you can expect from the upcoming adaptation.
Note: This preview was first published on February 15th, 2022 but has been updated to reflect changes in production or news. It was last updated on September 7th, 2022.
Rumors have been circling for quite some time that Netflix getting its hand on a Bioshock adaptation, with both a series and movie being floated. A Bioshock project has been in development before. A project was previously set up at Sony Pictures with Michael De Luca Productions and Immersive Pictures producing. It’s also been previously set up at Universal and Blind Wink Productions.
Early in 2022, copyrights were registered with Netflix attached and on February 15th, Netflix officially announced the project.
Who is behind Bioshock on Netflix?
Vertigo Entertainment is going to be the main production company behind the movie. They’ve been behind movies such as It, The Lego Movie, and The Grudge.
For Netflix, Vertigo Entertainment has worked on Death Note and Extinction, with upcoming projects: The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez, due out in 2022, and The Witch Boy and Reborn, a co-production with Fortis Films.
In August 2022, Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I Am Legend, Netflix’s Slumberland) was announced to direct and produce the live-action adaptation of BioShock,
Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049, Death on the Nile) is writing the screenplay.
CEO & Chairman of 2K, Strauss Zelnick, who will serve as an executive producer on the movie, in a statement following the initial announcement , said:
“Netflix is among the best and most forward-thinking storytellers in all of entertainment today. We are thrilled that they share our vision and commitment to the BioShock franchise, which is beloved by millions of fans around the world. 2K’s Cloud Chamber studio is deep in active development on the next iteration of the series, and coupled with our partnership with Netflix, we remain highly confident that BioShock will continue to captivate and engage audiences like never before.”
What is Bioshock?
If you need a quick overview of Bioshock, here’s a rundown.
First released in 2007, Bioshock is the critically acclaimed video game series that Ken Levine led. The game was set in an underwater city called Rapture. A sequel was released in 2010 that took place 8 years after the events of the first game.
Bioshock Infinite was then subsequently released in 2013 that took place in a drastically different location in a flying city.
Here’s how the franchise is described:
“Set across multiple dystopian and visionary landscapes gone wrong, the series blends sci-fi and horror to pose unique existential and societal questions that reshaped how game stories could be told – all amidst pulse-pounding action gameplay that rewards sharp shooting, clever planning, and lethal improvisation.”
A book named BioShock: Rapture was released in 2011 and written by John Shirley. That prequel book details the construction of Rapture. We mention this as the book name is included among the copyright registrations by Netflix and 2K.
At the time of publishing, no indication was provided as to which title Netflix is set to adapt or whether it’d be a brand new story.
The franchise has been dormant since 2013 but that’s due to change in the coming years with an untitled sequel in the works from Cloud Chamber Studios, a newly formed game studio with teams in California and Québec. Kelley Gilmore leads the studio and is still aggressively hiring for the follow-up, which does not have a release date.
Netflix isn’t the first to tackle a Bioshock Adaptation
As mentioned above, this isn’t Bioshock’s first attempt at making it over to the big screen.
A script for a Bioshock movie has been circulating for quite some time, with Univeral Pictures once upon a time developing a movie with Gore Verbinski (Rango, Pirates of the Caribbean) directing the project. It was canned in 2009, around eight weeks before production was supposed to start.
Back in March 2020, Scott Wampler from Birth Movies Death managed to get to read the script and reflected on why it didn’t get made at the time.
Bioshock is just one of several projects Netflix has adapting established video game franchises. Netflix is currently working on other major adaptations, including Assassins Creed, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, and other Pokemon projects.
Are you excited about Netflix’s upcoming Bioshock movie adaptation? Let us know in the comments down below.